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crites, they invade this prerogative of God. We
i. The vanity of Aftrology, and all other arts that pretend to foretel future events, things that depend on the will of free agents. The vanity of these arts hath been sufficiently shewn by learned men, from the weakness and uncertainty of the principles they rely upon: I shall only for the present take notice, that it contradicts this principle of religion, That God only knows future events. From prudent colle&tions and observations, probable conje&ures may be made of what will happen in some cases; but there are no certain perfpe&ive-glasses, with which we can see future events, but divine revelation; therefore, whoever takes upon him to foretel future events without divine revelation, he arrogates to him. self that which is the prerogative of the Deity; and
God delights to chastise the curiosity, and cross the s predictions of these vain pretenders: Isa. xliv. 24.
25. Thus faith the Lord that formed thee; I am the Lord that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that Spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wife men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; as he also in scripture threatens those who consult them, and rely upon them. Those who go to aArologers, or wise men, as they call them, to know
their fortunes, and enquire of the events of their life, they forsake God, and betake themselves to lying vanities.
2. Refer future things to God who only knows them; trust him with all events; cast your care upon him. When you have used your best prudence, and wisdom, and diligence for your supply and se. curity for the future, leave the rest to God, for your heavenly Father knoweth both your wants and your dangers. When we are over sollicitous about future things, we take God's proper work out of his hands, and usurp the government of the world. Why do we take too much upon us? We are but of yestera day, and know not what will be to-morrow.
Mind your present dury and work, and leave events to God : Secret things belong to the Lord our God;
but those things that are revealed to us, and our children for ever, to do all the words of this law, Deut. xxix. 29. Do your Duty, commit the rest to God in well-doing.
In this world we are in a mixed condition, which is made up of good and evil, of happiness and misery: What is good for us to know, is revealed, that is our duty; but in great wisdom and pity to mankind, God hath concealed and hid the reit from us. He hath hid from us the good that may happen to us ; because the best things of this world are but shallow and empty, and if we could see them before-hand, we should prevent ourselves in the enjoyment of them, and eat out the sweetness which is in them, by delightful forethoughts of them : And he hath concealed future evils from us, left we should torment ourselves with the fearful expectation of them.
Prudens, futuri temporis exitum,
Fas trepidat. What a folly is it to make yourselves miserable with fear of being so; ante miserias miser! Use all wise means to prevent what you fear, and then be satisfi. ed, and be as happy as you can, till misery come;
go not forth to meet it, sufficient for the day in the evil thereof; do not anticipate the evils of our row, and take present possession of an evil ro cums; cast your care upon him, who hath promised to care for you.
JUDE ver. 25. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and malá jesty, dominion and power, now and ever.
Am treating of the attributes of God, particu: larly of those which relate to the divine under:
standing, his knowledge and wisdom. The knowledge of God, only implies his bare understanding of things; but his wisdom implies the skill of ore dering and disposing things to the best ends and pure poses, the skill of making and governing, and ad-ministring all things in number, weight and measure. The knowledge of God rather considers things absolutely, and in themselves: The wisdom of God, considers rather the respeets and relations of things, looks upon things under the notion of means, and ends ; accordingly. 1.describe them thus: The knowledge of God, is a perfect comprehenfion of the nature of all things, with all their qualities; powers, and circumstances. The wisdom of God, is a perfeat comprehension of the respects and relations of things one to anothers; of their harmony and opposition, their fitness and unfitness to such and such ends:. I have largely spoken to-the-fixft of these: - I. come now to the
Second; The wisdom of God in general; together with his majesty, and sovereignty, as they are here: joined together, I-begin with the
First, That God is the only wise God. In handling of this, I shall Thew,
1. In what sense God may be said to be the only wise God.
2. Prove that this attribute belongs to God.
J. In what sense God may be said to be the only wise God. For answer to this, we may take notice, that there are some perfections of God that are incommunicable to the creatures ; as his independency and eternity: These God only poffeffeth, and they are to be attributed to him alone; God only is independent and eternal : but there are other perfecti. ons which are communicable, that is, which the creatures may, in some measure and degree, partake of, as knowledge, and wisdom, and goodness, and justice, and power, and the like; yet these the foriptures do peculiarly attribute to God; not that they are altogether incommunicable to the creature, but that they belong to God in such a peculiar and divine manner, as doth shut out the creature from any claim or title to them, in that degree and perfection wherein God pofsefleth them. I Ihall give you some instances of this. His goodness, this is reserved to God alone, Matth. xix. 17. Why calleft thou me geod; there is none good, but one, that is God. His power and immortality, 1 Tim. vi
. 15, 16. Who is the blessed and only potentate ; who only hath immor. tality. His wisdom, 1 Tim. i. 17. The only wise God: Rom. xvi. 27. To God only wise be glory. His holiness, Rev. xv. 14. For thou only art holy. The transcendent degree and singularity of these divine perfections which are communicable, is beyond what we are able to conceive : so that although the creatures partake of them, yet in that degree and perfection wherein Gad poftefreth them, they are peculiar and proper to the Deity : fo that, in this sense, there is none good but God; he only is holy, he is the only wise: in sa inconceivable a manner doth God poffefs even those perfections, which in some degree he communicates; and we can only understand them, as he communicates them, and not as he possesseth them; so that when we consider any of these divine
perfections, we must not frame notions of them con-
in general, God may be said to be only wife in these two respects :
I. As being originally and independently wise.
1. God only is originally and independently wise. He derives it from none, and all derive it from him : Rom. xi. 33, 34. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! How un searchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out ! For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counsellor ? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again ? For of him, and through him, and to him are all things ; to whom be glory for ever. Amen. He challengeth any
are to come forth and say, that they have given wisdom, or any other perfection, to God : No, all creatures that are partakers of it, derive it from him : Prov. ii. 6. For the Lord giveth wisdom. Ecclef. ii. 26. God giveth to a man that is good in his fight, wisdom, and knowledge, and joy. Dan. ii. 21. He giveth wisdom to the wife, and knowledge to them that know understanding.
2. He is eminently and transcendently fo: And this follows from the former, because God is the fountain of wisdom, therefore it is most eminently in him : Pfal. xciv. 9, 10. He that planted the ear, Mall he not hear ? be that formed the eye, shall be not see ? be that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know ? In like manner we may reason concerning all other attributes of God, that if he communicates them, he is much more eminently poffeffed of them himself; the greatest wisdom of the creatures is no. thing in opposition to the wisdom of God, nothing in comparison to it.
Nothing in opposition to it : Job. v. 13. He taket b the wife in their own craftiness. Job ix. 4. He is wife in heart, and mighty in strength. Who hath hard